Football: Galacticos like Gareth Bale were 'cheap', claims Real Madrid president

Welsh international football player Gareth Bale (left) and Real Madrid President Florentino Perez pose during his official presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Monday, Sept 2, 2013, after signing for Real Madrid. Perez has defended h
Welsh international football player Gareth Bale (left) and Real Madrid President Florentino Perez pose during his official presentation at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium on Monday, Sept 2, 2013, after signing for Real Madrid. Perez has defended his policy of signing the best players in the world for huge transfer fees by claiming they make the club money in the long run. -- FILE PHOTO: AP

MADRID (AFP) - Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has defended his policy of signing the best players in the world for huge transfer fees by claiming they make the club money in the long run.

Perez is in his second term in charge at the Santiago Bernabeu and added to a stellar cast of signings under his guidance such as Luis Figo, Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham and Cristiano Ronaldo with the capture of Gareth Bale earlier this month.

And whilst the 66-year-old construction magnate refused to clarify whether Madrid had paid 91 million euros (S$154 million) for the Welshman reported by Spanish media, or what would be a record breaking 101 million euros as suggested by the press in England, Perez claimed Bale had in fact been a "cheap" signing.

"The signing was cheap," Perez told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. "All the important players have been cheap for Real Madrid. That is why we lead the Forbes list."

Indeed, American business magazine Forbes increased their valuation of Real Madrid following the Bale signing to US$3.4 billion (S$4.3 billion) to consolidate their place as the world's most valuable sports entity.

"It was shown with (Luis) Figo, (Zinedine) Zidane, (David) Beckham and (Cristiano) Ronaldo. Even though they were very expensive, we went from losing money to making money."

Madrid's money-making potential under Perez's two spells in charge has dramatically increased with revenue rising from just 85 million euros 15 years ago to 520.9 million euros for the 2012/13 season.

Real also recorded a significant rise in profit and cut their net debt last season despite ending the campaign empty handed in terms of trophies.